Tuesday, January 30, 2007

To Do - To not Do

How not to do L&L:
Child is sassy. Child is given choice to go to her room or the LR - basically anywhere the parent is not. Child refuses. Parent tells the child "you may go to your room with help or without help". Child is (of course) non-compliant. Now parent must follow through. A gentle hand to the back to guide child into the room quickly becomes a physical tussel as the child (literally) digs in her heels for all she's worth.

Probably should read the book *all* the way through - they tell you not to engage in a physical choice. Sigh.

How to do L&L:
Child refuses to stay in her room at bedtime. Child is told not to worry about the consequence of such an unwise choice; mom is sure to think of something appropriate. So the next day, the mom decides that since the child prevented her from getting something done, the child can do one of the mom's jobs. So the child is given the task of cleaning the 'fridge. Mom gets a clean fridge with no fuss!

This is the greatest part - AV actually loved doing it! I assigned her to clean the door and the drawers and she ended up "organizing" the entire fridge. I had apples in gallon ziplocks neatly labled in the crisper (ziplock bags were her invention, not mine) and all the soda lined up in a pyramid "so you can grab it easier Mama". She was so proud of myself. I'm so amused and so proud of her too!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

L&L parenting

OK - so, done correctly, I think this love and logic parenting might work!

Wednesday AV's school PTA sponsored a roller skating night. She wanted to go and she had the allowance to pay for it. Wednesdays are pretty busy so we didn't get home until about 6. I made a quick dinner of soup and biscuits while she ran around doing as much of her pre-bed routine as possible.

6:20 soup and biscuits are ready. She decides to get sassy so using the L&L, I say something to the effect that her words are hurting my ears and she can come back to dinner as soon as she's ready to talk nice.

So off to her room she goes. A few minutes later she comes out and announces she's not hungry. "But mom, my tummy is telling me that it doesn't want to eat? Don't you get what that means?!?!?"

So I again try the L&L thing and say OK. It's good to listen to your body. You don't have to eat. I am going to finish my dinner. You do need to know that choosing not to eat dinner does also mean no snacks at roller skating.

She agrees, bounces around the living room while I eat and then were off. At the roller rink she skates every song for almost two hours. She also buys a candy which I thank her for profusely since of course she bought it for me since she can't have snacks.

We get home and she is sooo hungry. "Mom, I'm hungry!" "I'll bet you are! You skated really hard tonight and used lots of energy!" "But mommmmmm!"

A bit later she comes up with a really great statement, "I should have eaten dinner!"


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Love and Logic

So have any of the parents out there ever heard of or used Love and Logic? It's a parenting philosophy/system aimed at teaching kids responsibility and self esteem through allowing them to experience the logical choices of their own consequences (age appropriate of course).

In short, you give a child a task they can do (make their bed, etc.), hope they blow it, lovingly empathize with their predicament and then let them try again.

In the book it sounds great. Takes away power struggles, reduces angry parents, lets the kid own their own problems, etc.

My frustration is trying to figure out how to apply this when there is such a lack of history and such defiance on AV's part. She is so sensitive to "anger" that when I use a stern, no-nonsense voice, she will litterally recoil back and then react with her own defensive anger. I don't see myself as yelling or being out-of-control angry, but she does.

So I'm seeking to change some of my skills to help her learn to grow. She uses being "afraid" of me as a shield to avoid the responsibility and consequenses of any given situation so if I can remove that shield, I'm hoping she can begin to learn personal responsibility.

This parenting stuff is not for the faint of heart!!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Checking in

Hi there everyone. Looks like once a month might be my speed for posting. Not exactly internet speed but what is a mom to do?

AV has started Tae Kwon Do and just loves it. She earned her white belt today and is already talking about how she can earn her first stripe. So far my fears of her using what she's learned in class outside of class have not materialized. yeah! The owner/master is very good with the kids and teaches appropriate use of the skills. So far so good!

We still have our issues. The other day she kept bugging me to go out to eat. I hadnt decided when she told me she would pay. Since I knew she had a whopping .80 cents, I asked how? She had $20. A lot of money for a little kid. I asked where she got it. After much stammering she said she was at day care and bet another boy that she would win at foosball. She won and he paid her $20. Hmmmmm.

So driving home I asked her if that was the whole truth. She stammered again and completely changed her story to she found the $20 outside of the women's bathroom at her counselor's office. Hmmmmmm again.

So I made the calls and to date no one's stepped up to confirm either story or to claim the money. Guess mom comes out $20 richer on this one!

So she tells this lie about the $20 and *that night* asks if she can have her privledges back from the last big lie she told. I just looked at her. Then gathering my senses, walked her through the you-just-told-a-lie-I-can't-trust-you-so-you're-back-to-square-one logic. She looks at me, and with the utmost sincerety says "But you can trust me with everything else but lying!" I had to turn away before I burst into laughter in front of her. What logic!

This past 6 weeks or so my grandfather has been visiting us from Ohio. He is 93 and other than severe hearing loss he is in great shape!

I was nervous about AV and grandpa meeting. He's been known to be prejudiced (she's Mexican) and has never acknowledged my adopted first cousin as a granddaughter.

Turns out they really took to each other. AV "taught" him Uno while stacking the deck in her favor. They laughed and teased each other and generally kept each other entertained. It was great. Grandpa also taught her about such grown up things as hearing aids and false teeth! =-)

Here's a picture from fall soccer. We start the spring outdoor season in March and start indoor soccer today. I sometimes think I'm crazy to be so busy but physical activity really helps keep her more in control of her own behavior. So here's to Mom's taxi!